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Self-regulation and wellbeing when facing a blocked parenthood goal: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Da Silva, Sara, Boivin, Jacky and Gameiro, Sofia 2016. Self-regulation and wellbeing when facing a blocked parenthood goal: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Plos One 11 (6) , e0157649. 10.1371/journal.pone.0157649

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Abstract

Developmental regulation theories claim that continuing to pursue a goal when it becomes blocked contributes to poorer wellbeing. This consequence is expected to lead to the use of self-regulation strategies in the form of higher disengagement from the goal and higher reengagement in other meaningful goals. The use of these strategies is expected to lead to better wellbeing. A systematic-review and meta-analyses were conducted to test the major predictions of developmental regulation theories for blocked parenthood goal and to investigate possible moderator variables, particularly type and degree of blockage. A total of eight meta-analyses were performed using random-effects models. Moderation was tested with subgroup analysis. After searching eight databases, 4977 potential relevant manuscripts were identified but only six met inclusion criteria. From the eight meta-analyses conducted, only two were significant. In line with prediction, higher goal blockage was related to higher negative mood and reengagement in other life goals was associated to higher positive mood (p < .001). From a total of eight subgroup analyses performed, results showed that disengaging had a positive impact on wellbeing for people experiencing an unanticipated type of blockage (i.e., infertility) but not for those with an anticipated one (i.e., postponing parenthood; X2 = 4.867, p = .03). From the total of twelve sensitivity analyses performed only one suggested that results might differ. The association between disengagement and mood varied according to study quality. When only average studies were included this association was negative, although non-significant. The evidence obtained did not fully support developmental regulation theories for the pursuit of parenthood goal, but primary research had too many methodological limitations to reach firm conclusions. Future studies aimed at investigating blocked parenthood goal are required to evaluate the value of developmental regulation theories.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Publisher: Public Library of Science
ISSN: 1932-6203
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 24 June 2016
Date of Acceptance: 2 June 2016
Last Modified: 12 Jun 2019 02:55
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/92131

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